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Movie Reviews

  • Indiewire
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    Sundance Review: 'Cutie and the Boxer' Illustrates the Struggles of An Artistic Genius

    "Art is a demon that drags you along," says 80-year-old visionary painter Ushio Shinohara in first-time director Zachary Heinzerling's delicate portrait "Cutie and the Boxer," but neither Shinohara nor his supportive wife and fellow artist Noriko are looking for a cure. Heinzerling's beautifully sho...

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  • Shadow and Act
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    Review: 'La Pirogue' And The African Struggle (Opens In NYC Tomorrow)

    A vast expanse of ocean. A small boat, bobbing with uncertainty amongst looming waves. It’s an image that’s been created many times in many iterations across the cinema landscape - in Alfred Hitchcock’s Lifeboat, in The Perfect Storm, more recently in Ang Lee’s opus Life...

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  • Indiewire
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    Sundance Review: Why Zal Batmanglij's 'The East' Is Fascinating and Illogical at the Same Time

    Suspenseful, ludicrous, fascinating, and utterly unsubtle, Zal Batmanglij's "The East" plays like an unholy mash-up of "Martha Marcy May Marlene" and "Alias." The film builds on the themes of cult and identity that Batmanglij and his star Brit Marling explored artfully in their breakout debut "The S...

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Sundance Review Roundup: 'Kill Your Darlings'

    Critics are praising John Krokidas' "Kill Your Darlings," starring Daniel Radcliffe as Allen Ginsberg. The film, which is edgier and more engaging than Walter Salles' faithfully literary "On the Road," is being called an unusually successful portrait of the Beat generation, "a genuine attempt to sou...

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  • Shadow and Act
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    L.A. Rebellion 2013 Retrospective Review - 'Cutting Horse' And The Need for More Black Westerns

    EDITOR'S NOTE: The retro is being rebooted for runs in Philly, Toronto and New York through February. We're revisiting our reviews/write-ups/interviews on the series (from Brandon Wilson and Nijla Mumin) when it begun in Los Angeles over a year ago... here's another. The overview an...

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Now and Then: A 'Zero Dark Thirty' Piece That's (Mostly) Not About Torture

    We are Maya. That's the first thought that comes to mind about Jessica Chastain's tireless, obsessed CIA analyst in "Zero Dark Thirty," a "motherfucker" who's been chasing Osama bin Laden for twelve years — nearly the same length of time as this country's impossible war.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Sundance Review Roundup: 'Upstream Color' Is a Gorgeous Head-Scratcher

    Critics don't mind feeling stumped when it comes to Shane Carruth's gorgeous, enigmatic Sundance entry "Upstream Color." While the film is largely receiving praise, reviews are quick to point out that the narrative, nominally about a young man and woman "consumed by a higher force," will raise plent...

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Sundance Review Roundup: Batmanglij and Marling's 'The East' Dividing Critics

    Critics are divided on director Zal Batmanglij ("The Sound of My Voice") and co-writer-star Brit Marling's newest collaboration, "The East." While some find the film a relevant, absorbing eco-terrorist thriller, others deem it overlong and "deeply silly." Review highlights below.

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  • The Playlist
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    Sundance Review: 'The Way, Way Back' A Familiar But Crowd Pleasing Coming-Of-Age Tale From Co-Writers Of 'The Descendants'

    Back in 2012, “The Descendants” took home the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay, and most people were probably surprised to see Alexander Payne (a previous winner for “Sideways” and nominee for “Election”) flanked by Dean Pelton from “Community” and that dude from “Club Dredd.” For the first time in...

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  • The Playlist
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    Sundance Review: 'The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman' Plays Like An Overwrought & Dated Music Video

    "The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman" opens up with an arresting image, the titular character (played by Shia LaBeouf) dangling upside down in woozy slow-motion, his face brutally beaten and bloody. As the narrator (John Hurt) explains, Charlie Countryman is languishing in the wind ...

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